In a speech welcomed by Breast Cancer UK (BCUK), the new Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, announced on Tuesday 28 September 2009 that Bisphenol-A (BPA) would be one of six chemicals that could be reviewed as to its safety as early as December this year, as part of Chemical Action Plans that could lead to “action to label, restrict, or ban a chemical”.
In her remarks Lisa Jackson warned that “advances in toxicology and analytical chemistry are revealing new pathways of exposure. There are subtle and troubling effects of chemicals on hormone systems, human reproduction, intellectual development and cognition. Every few weeks, we read about new potential threats: Bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical that can affect brain development and has been linked to obesity and cancer – is in baby bottles.
BCUK is currently drawing up plans to launch a campaign calling for a ban on the use of BPA in baby and toddler products in the UK, a step that the Canadian Government took last year and which seems increasingly likely now in the US as well. The six major US manufacturers of baby bottles announced earlier this year that they would voluntarily end use of BPA in the US, a move that they have yet to extend to the UK and EU markets.
Speaking about the EPA announcement, Clare Dimmer, Chair of Breast Cancer UK today said:
“Governments are finally waking up to the growing body of scientific evidence that BPA, an oestrogen-like hormone mimicking chemical, is a risk factor in breast cancer and other chronic diseases the Government must not hesitate in taking decisive action to protect babies and children."
“With breast cancer rates in the UK continuing to rise, people are understandably concerned about the increased risk to children and babies of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. Parents have a right to demand that the highest standards of safety are applied when they do something as simple as putting a plastic bottle in their child’s mouth. If manufacturers in other countries are voluntarily phasing out the use of BPA in baby products then we should at the very least have proper labelling on products sold in the UK to enable parents and carers to choose to buy BPA-free products."